In the modern sporting era, youth can often be much heralded over experience and helps sells anything from energy drinks to watches.
In Formula 1 racing, young German driver Sebastian Vettel already won two world titles before he was 24 years old with the Red Bull driver eclipsing the Spaniard Fernando Alonso in becoming the youngest driver to win two world titles in the pinnacle of motorsport.
And Barcelona star Lionel Messi ia already a three time Footballer of the Year by the same age and is already Barcelona’s record goal scorer after surpassing Cesar Rodguirez, who played for the Blaugrana in the 1940s and 1950s.
The noble art of self-defence is defiantly flipping the script in showing that experience can actually trump youth on any given night.
Sitting on top of the experience hill is the seemingly ageless American Bernard Hopkins, fast approaching 50 and still showing that he is not only a wily old fox but one with a world title after dethroning Haitian born Canadian Jean Pascal to win the WBC Light-Heavyweight title in their rematch.
In their first fight, Hopkins was knocked down twice in the first four rounds and was six points behind on the scorecards at end of four rounds. Hopkins dug in and forced his way back into the fight but was harshly robbed of a great come from behind victory as Pascal failed to capitalise on the two knockdowns in the opening four rounds of the fight.
In their second fight, Hopkins had opportunity to gain the title which he took by breaking Pascal’s will and still having time for five push ups before carrying on the fight in the seventh round, causing British referee and occasional Detention Officer Ian John Lewis to burst out laughing.
Many people within boxing thought that Hopkins was potentially over the hill after losing a 12 round non-title fight to British legend and future hall of famer Joe Calzaghe.
However, Hopkins, defiant as always, roared back scoring wins along the way against former Middleweight king Kelly Pavlik, gaining revenge over Roy Jones before gaining his opportunity against the then WBC champ in Pascal where he delivered on his prediction that he was going to the oldest champion ever in the history of boxing.
He also predicted that Pascal was going to be the guy that “was going to get beheaded for it” in the HBO face off for the rematch, and Hopkins displayed the old magic and defensive guile that made him the Middleweight Champion for 10 years.
However, Hopkins would later lose the title to Chad Dawson on a supposed second technical knockout after being shoulder thrown, but has since had his title reinstated after the WBC and the California State Commission reviewed referee Pat Russell’s questionable decision and declared the fight a no contest.
Hopkins, who reminds the most knowledgeable fight fans of Archie Moore, the former Light-Heavyweight world champion who fought until he was 50 years old and by end of his career fought Muhammed Ali, will be looking to gain revenge against Dawson and show that he is one of the greatest fighters of all time.
Over on this side of the pond, the giant Klitchsko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali, are sitting as the Kings of the Heavyweight division holding all the major belts while ageing at 40 years old for Vitali and 36 years old for Wladimir, respectively.
While it can be argued that the quality of the opposition that they have faced has not been all-time great material in what many people regard as one of the worse eras of Heavyweight boxing since the early 1980's, they have continued to take on all comers in their division while, like Hopkins, keeping themselves in terrific shape and conducting themselves in manner that has made them respected all over Europe.
The Klitschkos have also attracted over 11 million people on RTL to watch their fights, packing out football stadiums in Germany the size of St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United Football Club.
Back on the other side of the pond, the Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, at the age of 38, is also showing he is still showing that not only he is a World Champion but also one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.
In his advancing years, Marquez has been switching between the styles of a ring technician and crowd pleasing fighter, like his countrymen Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.
Marquez was involved a fight of the year candidate against the tough Australian brawler Michael Katsidis, which saw Marquez dropped early in the fight before rising to stop Katsidis in the ninth round.
He has also gave the best pound for pound fighter in the world, Manny Pacquiao, in their third chapter of their thrilling trilogy, one of the toughest nights in the Flippino icon’s glorious career and recently gained an interim WBO Light Welter title over Ukranian Serhiy Fedchenko in his second fight at 10 stone.
Marquez is scheduled to fight in July with likely opponents being the young big hitting American star Brandon Rios, who was gifted a questionable decision against Cuban Richard Abril, the winner of Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson’s WBA and IBF rematch could also be options for the Mexican icon.
Also three weight world champion and future hall of famer Sugar Shane Mosley at 40 years old is looking dethrone the young Mexican starlet Saul Alvarez on the Cinquo de Mayo bill in Las Vegas, which has joint top billing alongside Floyd Mayweather’s WBA title challenge against the big hitting Puerto Rican icon Miguel Cotto.
Although Mosley has not been victorious since battering the disgraced Antonio Margarito back in 2009 in 9 rounds to retain the WBA Welterweight title, he still possesses the experience and know how to potentially give the young Alavrez a few headaches come fight night.
Also in the Light-Middleweight division, former undisputed Welterweight Champion Cory Spinks is looking for redemption against fellow old timer Cornelius Bundrage.
While former Spinks victim Zab Judah has successfully bounced back from his fifth round stoppage loss against Amir Khan by defeating young starlet Vernon Paris in an IBF eliminator to show that he can still be a relevant force in a very competitive 10 stone division.
And lastly by no means least, up at Middleweight, 37 year old Argentinean Middleweight king Sergio Martinez, who despite his advancing years, has shown that he is one of the fittest and quickest fighters in boxing in any division and has knocked out four of the his latest five opponents including former British champions Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin.
Also, former conqueror Paul Williams has tasted defeat at the hands of the man they call Maravilla, allowing the 37 year old Argentine to cement his status in the top three of the pound for pound list behind Mayweather and Pacquiao and as the boss of the Middleweights.
Although Martinez has been the victim of some appalling boxing politics, he remains undeterred and determined to show he is the man to beat and is willing to take on anyone including the man who holds his old belt, Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr, in what would be one of the most mouth watering match ups that can be made in the sport.
So from this, it does show that sweet science does have a place for old men who are always willing to flip the script against the young bucks looking to make their mark in the sport.